The Marco Rubio Show (Fabulous Retro Chic)

Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gestures while speaking in Davenport, Iowa on 11 November 2015. (Detail of photo by Charlie Niebergall/AP Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) would like American society to please turn back the clock.

Marriage equality, for example, is already the law of the land in the United States, but Right Wing Watch flagged Rubio’s new interview with Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, where the senator made clear he’s not done fighting against equal marriage rights, calling the status quo “current law,” but “not settled law.”

“If you live in a society where the government creates an avenue and a way for you to peacefully change the law, then you’re called on to participate in that process to try to change it―not ignoring it, but trying to change the law.

“And that’s what we’re endeavoring to do here. I continue to believe that marriage law should be between one man and one woman.”

For most of the country, there’s a realization that there is no credible proposal to turn back the clock. Rubio didn’t elaborate on how, exactly, he wants to “change the law” to prevent same-sex couples from getting married, and if he tried, he’d likely fail.

But the key here is understanding just how far the Florida senator is willing to go with the culture war. For Rubio, it’s still not too late to bring back discriminatory marriage laws.

Steve Benen of msnbc also reminds of Mr. Rubio’s odious regard for women; we are already familiar with the Florida junior’s nonsense, but neither should his absurdity about marriage equality overshadow his desire to forcibly insert the government between women and their doctors.

As Benen puts it:

If a Republican Congress sends President Rubio an anti-abortion bill, he’ll sign it, even if it includes some exceptions he personally disagrees with. When it comes to abortion restrictions, he’ll take what he can get and then fight for more.

But as far as what Rubio actually, personally wants U.S. policy to be, he’s opposed to exceptions, even in cases of rape and incest―a position further to the right than any Republican nominee since Roe was decided more than 40 years ago.

This is a very simple idea to grasp: Taking it all the way back to square one is insufficient.

This is something of a trend in conservative politics right now. Having won what they can win on the merit of traditional presuppositions, now seeing those presuppositions falter under genuine scrutiny, and expecting more of those presuppositions to fall apart when closely examined, many conservatives perceive the rapid decline of traditional supremacism in American society.

Nor are they wrong to foresee the end of their privilege. Certes, we might quibble over the details of what is about to happen in American society―you know, like who will be forced to have anal sex with what animal and like it, and other such thoughts that apparently keep so many of our Christian neighbors awake at night―but the days of glorious American racial, religious, sex, and gender discrimination are finitely numbered.

This is the key: They don’t just want a do-over. Square one is insufficient, because they know how it goes from there, and they lose. So they need to go back before the beginning in order to start over.

The hope seems to occur at all valences of all facets of conservative political discourse; in this case, Mr. Rubio wants square zero. He would very much appreciate it if we could go back before Roe v. Wade in order restart his argument against the human rights of women. And he seems to think there is some utility in trying to turn the clock back in order to argue against marriage, at least pre-Windsor; he’d probably need to wind back pre-Lawrence, as well.

This is the fault with his approach: The fact of arguing aesthetics doesn’t change.

The general idea of human rights is not a random invention; it is, rather, a logical conclusion.

In the end, a straightforward question will suffice: Senator Rubio, do you acknowledge and affirm that women are human beings and have human rights, full stop?

Can he, or any of these bigots, acknowledge and affirm that women are human beings and therefore have human rights, as a straightforward, independent statement with no strings attached?

Because it seems that if the answer is yes, mere aesthetics are insufficient reason to curtail anyone’s human rights. And if the answer is no? Well, right. That is the question, it seems. Who would say no?


Image note: Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gestures while speaking in Davenport, Iowa on 11 November 2015. (Detail of photo by Charlie Niebergall/AP Photo)

Benen, Steve. “Rubio not done fighting against marriage equality”. msnc. 25 November 2015.

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